Sunday, August 21, 2011

Children are Hurting

The Annie E. Casey Foundation has recently released their 2011 Kids Count Data Book. I was shocked by some of the numbers as I began reading the results of this study.
  • The poverty level for a family of four is $22,350. I can't imagine that. Double that would be tough to live on in this area.
  • Across our country, 42% of children are living at 200% of the poverty level or below. So, that number I said would be tough to live at, almost half the kids in our country are there or even worse off.
  • The differences in financial situations for white and Asian-Americans versus African-Americans and Hispanics is staggering. The differences in unemployment and home ownership alone shocked me.
  • "At age four, children who live in very low income families are 18 months behind the developmental norm for their age, and by age 10, the gap is still present." I've long known the first few years of children's lives are critical but this still hurt to read.
I will give everything I've got for my students this year as will teachers across the country, but we've got to recognize the reality.

Children deserve better than this. Children should not have to worry about where their next meal is coming from. Children should feel certain that they have a place to live. Children deserve parents who can find jobs and feel secure.

It saddens me to think that our society places so little value on children that we allow this to continue.

I've barely scratched the surface of the study here. Check it out.

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